ATTENTION: Associations/Condominium Property Managers
Just making sure that you are aware that the Florida Statutes were amended effective July 1, 2021, and the amendment affects the process for sending past due accounts to an attorney for collection. Here are the important points:
1. Before attorney’s fees can be incurred and charged to an owner, a new “courtesy” Notice of Late Assessments must be sent to the delinquent owner(s). The Notice of Late Assessments must be sent by first-class United States mail to the owner at his or her last address as reflected in the association’s records and, if that address is not the unit address, must also be sent by first-class United States mail to the unit address.
2. We will get a presumption, for legal purposes, that an association properly mailed a Notice if a board member, officer, or agent of the association, or a licensed manager, provides a sworn affidavit attesting to such mailing. Since we anticipate that owners may try to claim that the courtesy Notice was not sent, we really do want that legal presumption; so I do suggest that the person sending the Notice provide a notarized affidavit of mailing for each Notice.
3. A Word version of the Notice of Late Assessments form is attached for your use. Please send this early in the process, before the account gets very far in arrears; the Association will have to wait 30 days after this Notice is sent, before referring a delinquent account to an attorney for further collection activity.
4. From July 1st forward, the time to pay, in the Intent To Lien and in the Intent To Foreclose, will be 45 days (previously, 30 days each). So in a nutshell, the process is now:
a) give the Notice of Late Assessments, and wait 30 days;
b) if not paid, refer to attorney for an Intent to Lien, which gives 45 days;
c) if not paid, we record a lien, and send an Intent To Foreclose, which gives 45 days; and
d) if not paid, when the 45 days runs, we can then finally start a lien foreclosure.
As you can see, these new amendments will stretch the already long notice/lien/foreclosure process out by at least an additional 60 days, so it is best to send the attached Notice of Late Assessments in the early stages of a delinquency.
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the new procedure.